I could be completely ego-tripping here, but I think my post last July, complaining about my local library’s $10 credit card minimum, actually made the library change its policy and drop the minimum.
My daughter, Paige (I’m dropping all my cute “geek” code names for my family members for their real names, I guess the black helicopters aren’t coming to take us away after all—wait, did you hear that?), and I visited the offending library branch on Friday night. I was looking for a few Seth Godin marketing books (I have three checked out now: Small is the New Big, Permission Marketing and Survival Is Not Enough), the new TV on the Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain (didn’t have it). My wife wanted me to find as many Sandra Boynton board books as I could for Paige. In the unorganized (or organized by two year olds) board book shelves, I found three. Paige picked out an additional board book about mother and daughter polar bears playing in the snow.
We used the self check out to scan our lends (free this time as we only checked out Bob the Builder DVDs, the library only has a rental fee for adult fiction DVDs). On the way out I glanced at the Visa/Mastercard plastic sign and couldn’t see the “$10 minimum” sticker anymore. I looked closely at the other plastic signs behind the counter and couldn’t see mention of the $10 minimum. Paige dragged me with her super strong two-year-nine-month-old legs out the front door. I fought back and we went back inside, I had to know if the policy actually got dropped.
I approached the information desk. A middle aged blond woman sat behind the desk typing at her terminal. I ask, “Hey, do you still have that $10 minimum Visa charge?” She answers (in a thick Eastern European accent and broken English), “Uh, no. We would prefer you not make the small charge, but it is whatever is convenient for the customer.” Me, “Okay, thanks.”
So, did I make it happen? Did my blogging, direct contact with the library treasurer and exposure on the Consumerist and Library Journal effect change? Or was it just a silly policy that eventually pissed off enough credit card dependent consumers? I guess I could ask but I’d like to massage my ego and believe I helped my community by sticking to the former.
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